5 Reasons to Drink Coconut Water


 

Coconuts, and all that this superfood offers, is dominating the blogosphere in recent years. The medicinal benefits of coconut oil are well-documented of course. But just how healthy is coconut water, and why should you drink the clear liquid from these baby green coconuts? Well, it seems that there are plenty of reasons. Nutrition is one of its main advantages, but there is more than just the nutritional content to get excited about. It’s an excellent thirst quencher that’s for sure. And because of its electrolyte composition it quickly hydrates a dehydrated body when drank in sufficient quantity. It’s a source of carbohydrate too, which gives an instant boost to energy levels [1].

Coconut Milk Vs Coconut Water

Coconut milk is sometimes confused with coconut water, so let’s have a look at the differences. As you might expect, the milk is higher in calories and fat than the water. To get the milk, farmers have to extract it from the flesh of the coconut fruit. Compared to coconut water, coconut milk is denser, thicker and sweeter. The milk is chockablock with good nutrition and healthy “saturated” fats. It’s obviously higher in calories than the water. Per one cup serving, coconut water is around 46 calories whereas the milk is somewhere in the neighborhood of 552 calories. More and more health conscious people are turning to coconut milk as the new dairy alternative. It’s great for baking and cooking.

The Best Coconut Water

You can get coconut water in all kinds of ways but the best is to buy fresh every time, and drink it straight from the baby green coconut. This way you know you’re getting it just as nature intended, with no preservatives or added sugars, and you know it’s not pasteurized. Fresh coconuts come under “perishable foods,” and you will usually find them in the refrigerated section at your local health food stores. If you can’t get hold of the young, fresh coconuts where you are, then opt for the coconut water that has been cold pressed. It’s not quite as good as the natural option, but it’s a good second best. It’s better to only consume pasteurized coconut water when you’ve run out of the other two options as the heating process kills nutrients and depletes live enzymes (typically proteins).

Coconut water has many health benefits not least because it’s a rich source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, folate, calcium and selenium.

The five known coconut water benefits include:

  1. Helps to beautify skin
  2. The ultimate hangover cure
  3. Facilitates digestion
  4. Boost hydration (especially sodium-enriched)
  5. Helps to reduce blood pressure

There are more coconut water benefits than the five above, but these are the most interesting and the ones we’ll look at in more detail.

#1 – Coconut Water for Skin

There are a few good reasons to use coconut water for skin care and skin maintenance. Not all applications will work the same for all people, but it’s natural, inexpensive and certainly worth a try.

As a Moisturizer and Skin Brightener

No one likes to have dry, dull looking skin that they have to bring to life with too much makeup and other products. Regular use of coconut water for cleansing and moisturizing the face should brighten the skin and make it suppler. The best way to apply it is by dabbing the coconut water on with a cotton ball. Once you’re done, simply rinse off and enjoy newly hydrated skin. The vitamin C in the water acts as a natural skin brightener but your must keep the routine up. Overtime you will regenerate some collagen and even reduce the visible signs of fine lines and wrinkles if you have any [2].

You can also drink coconut water on a regular basis to moisturize the skin from the inside out. If you don’t fancy applying pure coconut water topically, or don’t want to drink it daily, there’s an alternative solution. Opt for green cosmetic products that contain traces of actual coconut extract instead.

As a Scalp Application

If you suffer with itchy, dry scalp, coconut water could be the perfect solution to your problem because it may help to counteract the issue. The best way is to spray the water on and then massage it into your scalp each time before you wash your hair.

#2 – The Ultimate Hangover Cure

There are few things that are more debilitating than a heavy hangover the morning after the night before. We all pledge to never drink again, but it’s a hard oath to adhere to, and most of us will go on to experience a few more hangovers in our lifetime. Most of us will take a couple of pain killers and then wait it out, but there’s a better, more natural solution. The key components for treating any hangover are electrolytes (especially potassium) and anti-oxidants. Coconut water works well as a hangover cure because it contains both anti-oxidants and electrolytes.

Anti-oxidant levels are not that high in coconut water, but there’s enough to do the job. In the case of a painful hangover, your body loses anti-oxidants because of the oxidative stress (OS) caused by the overconsumption of alcohol. The lower your levels of anti-oxidants the morning after the night before, the worse your hangover will be [3].

#3 Coconut Water Facilitates Digestion

Anyone looking to improve digestive issues should consider coconut water for the job. Not only does it improve digestion and normalize bowel movements, but it also relieves your intestines of certain harmful toxins. Taken with a spoonful of olive oil, coconut water will destroy intestinal parasites. The water also works like a carminative and so helps to relieve flatulence (gas).

Having good digestion is essential for maintaining natural health. When your digestive system functions normally, it absorbs the essential nutrients from food that are so vital for preserving optimal health. Coconut water can certainly play a part here [4].

#4 Coconut Water Boosts Hydration

For coconut water to work as nature’s natural hydration drink there are a few things to understand. Firstly, coconut water, according to trials, is not much better than plain water when taken in the same quantity. The main difference is that it’s much more drinkable, and so people tend to consume sufficient amounts to rehydrate the body after exercise. Most of us are not as hydrated as we should be, and a lot of that has to do with our reluctance to drink plain water when we’re not really thirsty. Even mild signs of dehydration can cause brain fog, lethargy and headaches. Coconut water is natural and refreshing, and that makes it a better choice for many than just plain tap water. It also contains nutrients and electrolytes; water has neither of those.

Here’s another reason why refreshing coconut water is better than bottled water: it doesn’t leave you feeling bloated or nauseous when you drink a large amount. In fact, it’s much easier to drink than both plain water and the so-called rehydrating sports drinks. For the ultimate rehydrating drink, you need to take coconut water enriched with sodium [5], [6].

#5 Helps to Reduce Blood Pressure

Like chronic inflammation, hypertension is another of those “silent killers” and a common problem in modern times. Coconut water may help to lower blood pressure in people who suffer with the condition. In one study, 71 percent of the participants saw a lowering of their blood pressure. Hypertension is a serious disorder and needs a serious solution. Diet and lifestyle play a huge role in blood pressure levels. Coconut water should be part of the diet for anyone with high blood pressure or borderline hypertension [7].

And that concludes our top five reasons to regularly consume healthy, fresh coconut water from the baby green fruit of this tall tropical palm tree. If you have anything to add, please leave your comments below.

Resources

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coconut_water
  2. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/micronutrients-health/skin-health/nutrient-index/vitamin-C
  3. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm
  4. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/Anatomy/your-digestive-system/Pages/anatomy.aspx
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12056182
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17883020
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15892382
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About Coconut Health

Hi, my name is Susan and over the past few years, stories on health especially natural ways to heal have fascinated me. This site was set up to explore the research, stories and health possibilities of coconuts. Feel free to contact me if you have suggestions, questions or to tell me your story!